The decision about Obamacare highlights the tension that will mark North Carolina’s politics the next four years.
The tension stems from an election that saw the nation go in one direction (largely Democratic) and North Carolina in another (almost all Republican).
When political partisans win an election, they tend to believe that an era of enlightenment has dawned in which their ideas, their ideology and their party will always reign supreme.
That usually lasts until the next election.
It’s happening this time. Nationally, Democrats proclaim that demography is destiny and they are destined to rule as the Grand Old Party of Angry Old White Men declines into irrelevance. In North Carolina, Republicans proclaim that the state is headed in the same direction as South Carolina, Georgia, etc.
As Lee Corso would say: Not so fast.
This election was close nationally. And North Carolina is about the most closely divided state in the nation. It was Romney’s closest win – and Obama’s closest loss – in the country. The divide isn’t going away.
This presents a challenge to Governor-elect McCrory. So it was interesting that his response to Governor Perdue’s insurance-exchange decision was more muted than Senator Berger’s.
Berger runs a 70-30 Senate. McCrory will govern a 50-50 state. Republicans’ money and maps may protect their legislative majority for a while. But McCrory has to face the voters in four years.